MORRISON, CO – July 17, 2021 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – Trying to solve Bandimere Speedway for the first time in his standout career, defending Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan started strong on Friday, rolling to the provisional No. 1 spot at the Dodge//SRT Mile-High NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil.
Steve Torrence (Top Fuel) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also provisional No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the eighth race of the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
In a thrilling side-by-side race with Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps, Hagan powered to the top with a run of 3.966-seconds at 319.22 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye. It puts the veteran in position to qualify No. 1 for the second time this season and 42nd time overall. Hagan is still looking for his first victory of the year following his championship season and getting it at his sponsor’s race in Denver would be rewarding considering his struggles at the fan-favorite facility over the years.
“We go after it every time in qualifying,” said Hagan. “We’re just trying to get that rhythm down and the consistency but we put a number down here on the hill and thank goodness. This race has alluded me for almost 15 years now and it’s like, what do we have to do to win up here on the mountain? I don’t know about winning right now but we started out really well. I have a great race car underneath me, I’m solid in the field and hopefully tomorrow we can lay it down and go even faster.”
Alexis DeJoria claimed the second spot on Friday after going 3.982 at 323.50 and Capps took third after the first qualifying session with a run of 3.986 at 318.09.
In Top Fuel, Torrence was several steps ahead of everyone on Friday in Denver, making the only three-second run in the class with his impressive pass of 3.778 at 327.11 in his 11,000-horsepower Capco Contractors dragster. Should it hold, the three-time defending world champ would qualify No. 1 for the fourth time this season and 31st time in his career. Coming off a victory in Norwalk, Torrence, who is also the most recent Top Fuel winner in Denver thanks to his 2019 triumph, is after his second straight win and fourth in five races during the 2021 campaign. Joey Haas is currently second following his run of 4.054 at 259.56 and Antron Brown is a spot behind thanks to his pass of 4.180 at 269.78.
Things keep rolling along at an impressive clip for Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle, as the points leader jumped to the No. 1 spot with a run of 7.145 at 188.46 on his Denso Auto Parts/Stockseth/Matt Smith Racing EBR. Smith would pick up his second No. 1 qualifier of the year and the 45th in his career if it holds. Smith, who is also the current points leader, is looking for his second straight win of the year this weekend. Andrew Hines, a five-time Denver winner who won the most recent race at the facility in 2019, is currently second after his pass of 7.205 at 187.68 and Angie Smith is third after going 7.210 at 184.98.
Qualifying continues at 4:45 p.m. MT on Saturday at the Dodge//SRT Mile-High NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil.
MORRISON, CO — Friday’s results after the first one of three rounds of qualifying for the 41st annual Dodge//SRT Mile-High NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Bandimere Speedway, eighth of 22 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.
Top Fuel — 1. Steve Torrence, 3.778 seconds, 327.11 mph; 2. Joey Haas, 4.054, 259.56; 3. Antron Brown, 4.180, 269.78; 4. Doug Kalitta, 5.887, 123.17; 5. Brittany Force, 5.955, 106.16; 6. Greg Carrillo, 6.295, 100.09; 7. Buddy Hull, 6.446, 109.33; 8. Mike Salinas, 7.235, 78.16; 9. Clay Millican, 7.301, 81.71; 10. Shawn Langdon, 13.529, 65.25.
Funny Car — 1. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.966, 319.22; 2. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 3.982, 323.50; 3. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.986, 318.09; 4. Paul Lee, Charger, 4.045, 318.62; 5. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.272, 292.90; 6. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 5.678, 155.49; 7. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 6.092, 112.93; 8. J.R. Todd, Camry, 6.507, 102.24; 9. Jack Wyatt, Charger, 7.614, 93.44; 10. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 7.657, 82.65; 11. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 8.131, 86.69; 12. Robert Hight, Camaro, 15.372, 68.07.
Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Matt Smith, EBR, 7.145, 188.46; 2. Andrew Hines, Buell, 7.205, 187.68; 3. Angie Smith, EBR, 7.210, 184.98; 4. Eddie Krawiec, Buell, 7.216, 188.31; 5. Cory Reed, Suzuki, 7.220, 184.42; 6. Scotty Pollacheck, EBR, 7.226, 185.43; 7. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 7.230, 182.95; 8. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.341, 181.25; 9. Jianna Salinas, Suzuki, 7.421, 175.21; 10. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 7.464, 165.29; 11. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 7.675, 176.14; 12. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 8.008, 129.60; 13. David Barron, Buell, broke.
Not Qualified: 14. Steve Johnson, broke.
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 22 national events featuring the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service, Factory Stock Showdown and Top Fuel Harley Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style. NHRA also offers the NHRA Jr. Street program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. With over 120 Member Tracks, NHRA allows racers to compete at a variety of locations nationally and internationally. NHRA’s Youth and Education Services (YES) Program reaches over 30,000 students annually to ignite their interest in automotive and racing related careers. NHRA’s streaming service, NHRA.tv, allows fans to view all NHRA national events as well as exclusive features of the sport. In addition, NHRA owns and operates four racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to www.NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. and YouTube.
Source: National Hot Rod Association